This batter is based loosely on a crumpet batter recipe released by Warburtons, and could easily be used for crumpets. However, I adapted it for pikelets, to avoid all the kerfuffle with crumpet rings, and then further adapted it to use wholemeal and spelt flour. The wholemeal adds some texture/flavour/health benefits, and the spelt adds a lightness, as it’s initial fermentation is very active.
The pikelets are delightfully fluffy and taste great toasted and covered in melted butter.
The batter is very quick and easy to make, but cooking them takes a little practice in order to get the temperature right for your hob/pan!
Ingredients (makes around fourteen pikelets)
- 100g strong white flour (Shipton MIll Organic White Flour No.4 (105) is perfect)
- 150g wholemeal flour (Shipton Mill Heritage Blend Stoneground Organic) If you don’t have/want to use wholemeal just reduce the water to 400ml
- 50g white spelt flour (Shipton Mill Organic White Spelt Flour (408) is perfect.) If you don’t have spelt flour just use white instead, but the rise will not be a strong.
- 440ml lukewarm water
- 6g salt
- 5g white sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 7g packet of dried yeast
- A large, heavy bottom nonstick frying pan. I use one with a 25cm base and can cook three at a time in it.
- A high smokepoint oil, like rapeseed oil for frying
Mixing the batter
Weigh/measure all of the dry ingredients into a bowl, or, even better, a large (2l) jug. Using a 2l jug this makes it possible to pour the fermented batter when cooking, which doesn’t disturb the bubbles as much as using a scoop and so makes a much lighter pikelet.
Add the lukewarm water and whisk well for a minute until there a no lumps.
Cover and rest for 30-35 minutes until the batter is light, bubbly and very active. It should increase in volume from 20% to 40%. If you're using a 2l jug, it should be just about full of fermenting batter when it's ready for use!
This is the bit that needs a little practice. Use a heavy non-stick frying pan (or a griddle may work) heated to medium high. Just above 7 on a 9 point scale works for our pan/hob combination!
Brush the pan very lightly with oil and pour (or scoop) a large dollop (around 140ml, but no need to be exact) of batter into the pan by pouring or using a ladle. The batter should settle into a disc and bubble/spring well. How many you can cook at one time will depend on your pan - I get a batch of three in a 25cm pan, with room to spare (but not enough for a fourth!)
When you have the temperature right the pikelets will bubble up, and set from the bottom upwards. You’re looking for the temperature to be high enough to form bubbles, but not so high that they burn on the bottom before you’re ready to flip them. Practice makes perfect! When they’re cooked about half way through, and have become free from the pan, move them around to give each some time on the hottest part of the pan. Brush the pan with a little more oil before flipping them with a fish slice before they burn. They should only need a couple of minutes on each side to cook through and be golden brown!
You could eat them now, but we prefer to let them cool a little and then toast them lightly. Serve with melted butter.